Spirituality principles, struggles, knowledge base and insights for the earnest seeker.

Inner Life – The Root of Life

inner lifeEach one of us live two separate lives. One is the outer life – the life in which we interact with the outside world. The second is the inner life – the life to which only we are privy to. The outer life is the life with our families, friends, work, business and even with our bodies. The inner life is the life of our thoughts, emotions and intuition.

Most people go about their daily lives paying very little heed to their inner lives. They take their inner life for granted. They assume that their thoughts, emotions and intuition will somehow sort themselves out all by themselves and that they have little or no responsibility towards it. They put all their time and effort focusing on the outer life, thinking if they could only get every aspect of their outer life sorted out then everything will be fine. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Some people try to avoid having an inner life. These people cannot stand being by themselves. They have a need to be constantly surrounded by people. The more people the merrier, the louder the better. Some try to drown the voices of their inner life with constant music, tv, video games and the internet. It is important to remember a neglected inner life is still an inner life. You cannot NOT have an inner life. You cannot run from yourself. Therefore it would be wiser to learn to deal with it.

Then there are some who think that the inner life is best left to psychologist and psychiatrists. That is like saying our health is the responsibility of doctors. It’s not difficult to see how wrong this is. Just like you don’t need a doctor to stay outwardly health, you also don’t need a doctor to stay inwardly healthy. All you have to do is learn to take care of yourself.

We ignore our inner life at our own peril. Our inner life defines us as who we are. It is that which makes us, us. Our inner life constitutes our self-hood. Without a healthy inner life we would be easily influence to do things which might not be in our own best interest. Our inner life is the engine of our lives. It drives our every motive, ambition and dream. It is the source of our every desire, fear and hope. It is the well from which both love and hate arise. It is the seat of what many people call “the soul”. Yet we pay so little attention to it. We let it run on autopilot as though that is how it is suppose to be. This ignorance of inner life causes us dearly.

Not A Religious Thing

Thoughts, emotions and intuition are real things. They are just as real as the outer aspects of our lives like money, our bodies, possessions, work, family and friends. If we can see the need to take care and maintain the outer aspects of our life, is it difficult to see that the inner aspect require just if not more care and maintenance?

Inner Life QuoteCultivating a healthy inner life has nothing to do with religion. It has nothing to do with any God you may or may not believe in. You do not require any sort of religious faith to do it. You need not go to any temple, mosque or church. The greatest temple is your own inner self. It is there where you must find and deal with who you are and who you want to be. All successful people practice an inner life – even though they may be atheist.

Taking charge of your inner life means taking charge of your life – your decisions and their consequences. It means stopping having to find blame and fault on others for every bad thing that has ever happen to you. It means seeing that true change can only come from within. It means giving up the autopilot mode and taking the reins of your life into your own hands – because that is what you are meant to do.

Because You’re Worth It

Your inner self is NOT who you identify with on a day to day basis. From the moment you wake up you are busy being somebody the world wants you to be. Maybe you are a student, brother, sister, mother, father, employee, employer, friend or family. You busy yourself being these “persons” for other people from moment to waking moment. These “persons” are not who you really are – there are merely your identities. Each one of us has multiple identities and they change as we go through life. If you remove all these identities, whatever is left – that is your inner life, that is who you are. For some, they may find nothing much exist if they strip away their identities – which is the result of a neglected inner life.

Caring for your inner life does not and will not make you a self centered person. On the contrary you will realize how interconnected you are to everyone and everything else. It will result in you having a higher sense of purpose, more compassion and greater control over your decisions. Sorting out your thoughts, feelings and intuition is not going to turn you into some narcissistic person. What will make you narcissist is if your don’t do the necessary work on your inner life.

Your inner life determines the true quality of your life. It determines to what extent you can appreciate and enjoy all the wonderful things in your life and all the wonderful things this world as to offer. As such caring for your inner life is truly caring about what is going to make you happy being who you are and doing what you do. By doing so, you improve your life and in turn make a positive impact on the lives of others around you.

Benefits of Cultivating Inner Life

The inner life consist of all our thoughts, emotions and intuition – some of which we are aware of but most of which we are not. Left on their own, thoughts, emotion and intuition interact with one another in our subconscious mind. The derive preconceptions, generate motives and biases without us being aware of it. If nothing is done, we then become slaves to these preconceptions, motives and biases and they affect and govern our every move. Have you ever had a change of heart or behaviour that you could not explain? That’s your inner life working by itself without any sort of mediation.

Many of us try to bring change into our lives by changing our outer lives. We try to diet but constantly fail. We try to work hard but constantly lose motivation. Merely working on the outer life will not result in long term change. To do that we need to work on our inner life. When change happen from within then the change will last longer.

To work on your inner life means having a say in how your thoughts work, how your emotions influence you and how you listen and heed the voice of intuition. Of course you can just let everything happen on it’s own – the autopilot mode. This autopilot mode is the default mode we are born with. It is the easiest mode to live in but not the best one.

The benefits of a highly cultivated inner life are numerous. Perhaps the most important benefit from it is resilience. A strong inner life will allow the individual to withstand some of the worst things life can throw at them. A strong inner life will allow them to stay focus, get past crisis and emerge intact and even stronger.

The individual who is able to best affect his or her inner life would be able to best accomplish what they set out to do. When the inner life and outer life comes in sync, we feel a certain surge in energy and our destination and purpose becomes clear. We move with a kind of grace that is almost effortless and things seem to fall in place. We are at peace with ourselves and at peace with the world. We hold no grudges, no ill will toward anyone. We are able to accept everything that comes our way. No one would seem like a stranger. We all have had moments like this in our lives. Well the good news is that these moments don’t need to happen once in a blue moon. They can be your day to day living experience. All you need to do is start working on your inner life.

A Beginners Guide To Inner Life

1. Start by becoming conscious of your thoughts. Don’t just let your thoughts come and go. Observe them as though you were a third person looking in onto yourself. Be an objective judge of your thoughts but don’t be judgemental. Try not to defend them. Critique them to understand them but don’t beat yourself up for having them.

2. Repeat step number one on your emotions. Consider how events that happen to you make you feel. Try to understand why you feel the way you do. Consider if that is how your actually want to feel. Think of ways of how you would go about bringing about the desired change to your feelings.

3. Be attentive to your intuition. Intuition is that nagging feeling you have that you cannot pin point. It is the premonition that something significant is going to happen but you don’t know what. It is the irritating feeling that you may have overlooked something. Take some time out. Go to a quiet place. Try to empty your mind and focus on that feeling. Before you go to bed have a moment of silence to pray or contemplate. Often times intuition will manifest itself in a dream or the first thought of the day when you awake.

4. Be sincere. True and pure emotional intent is the best way to cultivate a positive inner life. Do not seek to impress but seek to be impressed. Cultivate a true desire to know yourself. Become a seeker of truth of who you really are. This will make you attentive and raise your level of awareness. When that happens you will see answers emerge and come to you from the most unexpected of places. It would seem that the Universe or the God of your believe is helping you. They may very well be.

5. Read, watch and learn. Knowledge is everywhere but you must seek it out. That is the only way you will grow. Cultivate curiosity. Ask and any and all questions. Nothing should be beyond questioning. Nothing should be sacrosanct. Often times the most profound truths emerge when we question and get past our most cherished beliefs. Mind you that this requires great bravery. A weak mind cannot comprehend a powerful truth.

6. Be patient with yourself but don’t be lazy. This is a journey without end. Work steadily but surely. If this you do and not give up, you will begin to see a change so deep that you will be on your way of becoming the kind of better person you always wanted to be.

A labor of love for the seeker – whoever you are and wherever you may be. May you find solace in these words.

Your brother in spirit

ben gill

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